Answer by Mahesh Murthy:
I have answered this elsewhere on Facebook, but it may be tough to make out a timeline from the fragmented posts there. So here's some sort of general progression of events. This will be long, so brace for the ride:
- 2005 – yes that long ago – JAM magazine writes about IIPM's tall claims. See their redacted articles @
- IIPM does the nasty – it sues the publisher of JAM in Assam – where she chooses not to contest because it's too much of a pain to go there and fight a case – and a court order comes from there essentially asking her to remove said articles from the net. She does. Thankfully, others put it up so you can still see it.
- At the same time IIPM runs a rather disgusting bad-mouthing campaign against the publisher of this piece, saying she was expelled from IIMA for lesbian sex and/or failing to get good grades etc.
- Then a few months later, Gaurav Sabnis blogged about the lies that IIPM used in their ads. IIPM responded by blackmailing Gaurav's employer IBM who it had bought laptops from – and this ended with Gaurav leaving / losing his job. More details are @.
- This pattern of publication followed by threats followed by deletion followed.
- Then Maheshwar Peri of Outlook Group / Careers360 stepped in. He was quite aware of the JAM and Sabnis issues and went ahead and published an enormously damning expose of IIPM as a fake education company in @.
- The IIPM response was prompt. Peri got sued in Guwahati. But unlike JAM he went and fought there. IIPM got a stay order, convincing a judge that Careers 360 could not publish more articles on it till the defamation case was resolved. Once the stay order was obtained, IIPM then promptly never followed up in Guwahati and deliberately has avoided any further court dates since 2009. So it's a stalemate there.
- Unfazed, Peri continued. This time IIPM sued him in Uttarkhand. But Peri fought and won. The judge, in fact, asked for IIPM to be banned. @.
- Meanwhile, every single claim IIPM made in its ads was falling apart. It's apparent European b-school degree granter was found to be a fraud. It's apparent collaborations with universities in UK and US were found to be non-existent. In fact, everything stated in IIPM ads was a lie. And as my friends at The Times of India tell me, IIPM has a contract with all print papers saying, in effect, "if we give you ads, then you can't write about us without our permission" so they had ensured censorship there too. For a few years, IIPM was the largest print advertiser in India.
- Other journalists tried to piece together a story. Siddhartha Deb wrote a balanced piece in Caravan. It also served as an intro to his book on modern Indian business. A lawsuit was filed against them. The book – actually the IIPM excerpt of the book was banned via legal wranglings. As was his piece. It is mirrored here: @.
- Other found that in contrast to the apparent world-class education IIPM claimed to offer its students for their Rs. 15 lakhs, what they actually offered was a correspondence degree from MS University in Thirunelveli that one could get direct for Rs. 17,000
- A host of "Delete" requests went from IIPM and its legal efforts to Google, various web sites (including Facebook) to get this content to stop coming up. Google said no way. Facebook complied.
- Through all this, I just wanted to keep the content in one place. So I published a bitly bundle of links @to make sure the content wasn't lost through the legal wranglings and the harassment.
- Then all was quiet for a few years. I suddenly am told that this bundle of links is #2 in a list of links ordered to be blocked by the DoT after it received a court order from Gwalior based on a petition filed by some IIPMtard there. Medianama has a comprehensive listing of IIPM censorship attempts @. The #1 link was the UGC Govt Of India link that called IIPM a non-degree granting body.
- This pisses me off. IIPM gets a court to block what I wrote – and I wasn't called to defend it? And it was done ex-parte? So I decide to engage.
- I have a few Twitter followers now, so I start tweeting:
- I also engage on Facebook. Facebook sucks at content search and I yet don't have its graph search so I can't leave a robust set of links for this. But here are twoand
- By now this thing starts to go viral – and hundreds, sometimes thousands of people re-tweet, re-share and a significant chunk of India online figures out the man is just a scamster.
- IIPM responds by hiring people who write on the posts under fake names and fake profiles. Allegations that Pinstorm didn't get his digital marketing business so we're retaliating (ha ha, bloody ha). I out the fake people, including one Krishanu Bhattacharjee writing as some Rohina Dubey.
- He comes back with a "Happy 75th birthday Daddy" campaign across all print media to try re-instate his reputation. So I responded with evidence that his dad's qualifications were also likely fake.
- That was 6 weeks ago. There was a full-page Economic Times storythat did further damage.
- And hey, things have been quiet since! I'm waiting for more news to break.
- I have no particular grouse with this man – and didn't have any for many years. I got after him only when he had me banned.
- And now I do think he deserves to be outed. The world of education in India is full of scamsters and thieves. But none are as loud and loutish as this one.
- I hope students stop enrolling with him, and I hope his business collapses – for all the lies he's said so far.
Hope this helps,